(This report was written by PCIJ intern Julienne Urrea.)
HALALANG Marangal’s (Halal) initial findings reveal significant discrepancies in tallies for senatorial candidates in nine provinces and one city based on data from the Commission on Elections (Comelec) and the National Citizens’ Movement for Free Elections (Namfrel).
In Negros Occidental, the top vote gainer was Genuine Opposition (GO) candidate Francis Escudero with an additional 65,000 votes in the Comelec’s provincial certificates of canvass (PCOCs), compared with provincial breakdowns released by Namfrel based on election returns (ERs).
In neighboring Negros Oriental, TU candidate Luis Chavit Singson gained 17,800 votes while independent candidate Francis Pangilinan lost 11,600 votes. The top five gainers are TU candidates while the top five losers are GO and independent candidates.
Halal noted however that Namfrel had a low completion rate of 26.6 percent in the province and that close observation would be needed at a higher completion rate. Halal said that comparisons may not be accurate due to the low completion rate of Namfrel tallies as compared to Comelec tallies.
But even in provinces like Mandaluyong City, where Halal said there is a relatively close agreement between Comelec and Namfrel tallies, discrepancies exist.